Are paramedic students ready to be professional? An international comparison study

Brett Williams, Chris Fielder, Gary Strong, Joseph Acker, Sean Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The last decade has seen rapid advancement in Australasian paramedic education, clinical practice, and research. Coupled with the movements towards national registration in Australia and New Zealand, these advancements contribute to the paramedic discipline gaining recognition as a health profession. Aim: The aim of this paper was to explore paramedic students' views on paramedic professionalism in Australia and New Zealand. Methods: Using a convenience sample of paramedic students from Whitireia New Zealand, Charles Sturt University and Monash University, attitudes towards paramedic professionalism were measured using the Professionalism at Work Questionnaire. The 77 item questionnaire uses a combination of binary and unipolar Likert scales (1 = Strongly disagree/5 = Strongly agree; Never = 1/Always = 5). Results: There were 479 students who participated in the study from Charles Sturt University n = 272 (56.8%), Monash University n = 145 (30.3%) and Whitireia New Zealand n = 62 (12.9%). A number of items produced statistically significant differences P < 0.05 between universities, year levels and course type. These included: ‘Allow my liking or dislike for patients to affect the way I approach them’ and ‘Discuss a bad job with family or friends outside work as a way of coping’. Conclusions: These results suggest that paramedic students are strong advocates of paramedic professionalism and support the need for regulation. Data also suggest that the next generation of paramedics can be the agents of change for the paramedic discipline as it attempts to achieve full professional status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Issue number2
Early online date2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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